The Richmond Outdoor Market is ready to welcome you on Sunday.
The market is entering its second of four consecutive Sundays at the Richmond Fairgrounds and will be operating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We had a good first week,” said the market’s organizer Rebecca Hanbidge. “We had 10 vendors in our first week, but we will have 30 vendors for our second week.”
Hanbidge, who has a farm just outside of Richmond and is also in the Canadian military, said that the market came together quickly but has been well received by Richmond and the surrounding communities.
“We had been planning to create a Richmond Farmers’ Market for the past couple of years,” Hanbidge said. “However, when COVID-19 happened, it put everything on hold.”
Hanbidge said that outgoing Richmond Agricultural Society Executive Director Dale Greene was the driving force in making the market happen this year.
“Dale is the reason this market is happening,” Hanbidge said. “I was at home and he knocked on the door and told me we were now in Stage 3 of re-opening and asked if we wanted to try to do this.”
Hanbidge met with the Richmond Agricultural Society Board and they gave her the go-ahead to start the process in putting the market together. She got the approvals and permits needed about a month ago, and then started putting the word out.
“We have been following all of the rules and guidelines set out by public health during the pandemic,” she said. “Aside from our vendors, we are limited to 100 guests in the market at one time, so if we reach that capacity some people may have to wait in line. We also ask that people bring masks and respect social distancing. If anyone approaches a vendor, they are required to put their mask on.”
Hanbidge added that there will be a wide range of items available for visitors to the market this weekend and moving forward.
“We have made an effort to get more produce in,” she said. “We will have fresh, local corn and other farm produce, as well as fresh cut flowers and many specialty food vendors and craft artisans.”
Danby’s Roadhouse will be set up Sunday selling butter tarts and other pastries. Le Donut Stop of Richmond will be on hand to sell their mini-donuts. There will also be a mustard maker from Richmond, a honey producer from North Gower, a spice vendor, and a number of Richmond-based artisans and small businesses.
“One of our small business vendors, Lawn ‘N Order, is actually a high school student-entrepreneur who has started a landscaping business.
One of the new vendors this week will be Richmond resident Caroline Chescoe. Her family has come up with a line of clothing meant to be fun and positive for those who are battling cancer, have fought cancer, or for someone who wants to support a friend or loved one fighting cancer.
Chescoe’s husband, Manotick Messenger editor and publisher Jeff Morris, was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in 2019 and endured radiation and chemotherapy treatments as well as brain surgery. He saw people at the hospital wearing t-shirts and hoodies that had ‘F— Cancer’ printed on them, but said that he wanted to wear something a little more fun and positive and something that would put some humour into a topic that so many associate with doom and gloom.
The result was Make Cancer Sexy Gear. There are t-shirts and hoodies available, with hats and more items on the way in the near future. Twenty per cent of sales are being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society for cancer research in Canada.
“We thought it was a fun idea and a great way to give back to the Canadian Cancer Society,” Chescoe said. “Our entire family has been involved in the project – from the photography and social media posts, to the production of the merchandise and fulfilling orders, to building our Etsy store and our Instagram and Facebook pages.”
Hanbidge is hopeful the Richmond Outdoor Market can become a fully certified farmers’ market by next summer.
“It’s something people in Richmond have wanted for a long time,” she said. “The success of this market will help get us there. When we put the market together this year, we wanted it to be something for the community. With everything that has gone on this year, doing something in the community that people can enjoy safely and within the public health guidelines is something that local residents will enjoy and appreciate.”
The Richmond Outdoor Market runs at the Richmond Fairgrounds every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Sept. 13.